MMMJ: Mexico approves medical marijuana
On Monday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto issued a decree confirming that Mexico has legalized cannabis for medicinal use with overwhelming support from Mexico’s Lower House of Congress.
Earlier, the President fiercely opposed cannabis legalization but has since called for a re-examination of global drug policy. During his speech at the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Sessions, he admitted that ‘the solutions to control drugs and crime implemented by the international community had been frankly insufficient.’ Peña Nieto also called for the shift from prohibition to effective prevention.
The Senate passed the bill in December 2016. In April, Mexico’s lower house of Congress approved it with an overwhelming vote of 347-7 in favor of the measure. Mexico’s Secretary of Health, Dr. José Narro Robles, was one of the first officials to welcome the bill, stating, ‘I welcome the approval of the therapeutic use of cannabis in Mexico.’
What’s in the decree?
The decree specifies what the Ministry of Health will be tasked to do. It includes drafting and implementing the regulations of ‘public policies regulating the medicinal use of pharmacological derivatives of cannabis sativa, indica and Americana or marijuana, including tetrahydrocannabinol, its isomers, and stereochemical variants, as well as how to regulate the research and national production of them.’
The decree eliminates the criminalization of the medicinal use of cannabis products (flowers and any THC/CBD-derived products). It also legalizes the production and distribution of cannabis for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. The Lower House of Parliament stated that:
The ruling eliminates the prohibition and criminalization of acts related to the medicinal use of marijuana and its scientific research, and those relating to the production and distribution of the plant for these purposes.
The decree allows cannabis that contains up to 1% of THC. The Ministry of Health will be required to conduct a comprehensive research of medicinal and therapeutic effects of cannabis before building infrastructure for and implementing medical marijuana program.
Sounds like a good start. Congratulations, Mexico!